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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  December 28, 2012 11:00am-1:00pm PST

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several stories caught our attention today. photos as well. take a look at this. in brazil, beachgoers soaking up the sun during a heat wave sweeping the coast. 110 degrees in rio de janeiro. and in new york, workers install almost 300 waterford crystals on the new year's eve ball in times square. in germany, an animal keeper holds a tomato frog in her hand. each year the zoo in hamburg takes an inventory of all the animals. "cnn newsroom" continues right now with don lemon.
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hi, don. hi, suzanne. thank you very much. i'm don lemon. brooke is off today. the eyes of the world are focusing now on the white house. within the next hour, congressional leaders will begin to arrive for what is likely to be a very tense meeting with the president. this is perhaps the final effort to avert the tax increase that is expected to cost the average family several thousand dollars a year. four days remain to reach an agreement, get it passed by the house and the senate and signed into law by the president. we're talking a long shot here. now, want to show you the players. president, there in the middle, democrats nancy pelosi and harry reid. republicans mitch mcconnell and john boehner. those four members of congress are expected to make the drive from the capital, which you see on the right, down pennsylvania avenue, to the white house, there on the left. and we expect them to enter through a side door on the west
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side of the mansion. that's the entrance right there. and they'll meet with the president. in the oval office. beginning, we're told, at 3:00 p.m., less than one hour from now. and just four days ahead of the so-called fiscal cliff. so a very big moment in the nation's capital. and to walk us through what might happen we turn to jessica yellin, a chief white house correspondent. jessica, we said up front, it is a long shot, give us a best case scenario. >> reporter: the best case scenario would be that all the leaders walk out of this meeting and say they have a deal. the two senators say they can bring it to a vote, and none of their members will filibuster it. house speaker john boehner says he will bring it to the house floor for a vote before new year's eve and house minority leader nancy pelosi says she can wrangle all the democratic votes it needs to pass because you would expect a lot of house republicans to vote no, so you
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need almost all the house democrats to vote yes. if that sounds almost too good to be true, it probably is. >> and then they sing kumbaya. never, ever going to happen. and if it does -- >> reporter: they braid each other's hair. >> you got it. we're more likely to see that. so tell us about the role in this meeting of senator mitch mcconnell. why is he a key role to this? >> reporter: this has been moved over to the senate. and the house has said it has to get through there before any action happens on the house side. and senate minority leader mcconnell, the republican, who has been an enormously effective dealmaker is the one who helped forge the debt ceiling compromise in the final hours before -- as the nation was ticking down to possibly defaulting. and the question is, does he want to play the same role this
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time? now, he will be looked to do assure everybody that he can get all republicans to agree not to filibuster a measure because i've reminded -- i pointed out, it just takes one senator to filibuster a bill and it goes down. and there is no time for that, or rushing to this deadline, they cannot waste a moment. but senator mcconnell would argue that, you know, he can't assure that, he hasn't seen the details, and it all depends on what happens in this meeting. so i can't emphasize enough how important this meeting is to finding out if we can actually get something done before new year's. >> every time we get to something like this, or something similar, we see the oval office is the greatest home field advantage. is there anything at this point that the president can say to these four leaders to get them to act? >> reporter: well, i would have to say that the oval office is probably less impressive to each of these people than it is to others because they have all spent plenty of time in there. so they're also locked into
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their positions. it is going to be tough. that said, maybe there is some significance, you know, they usually meet when they're all in a group in the roosevelt room or in the cabinet room. it is a more casual environment. they're sitting probably on couches or chairs near each other. but the problem, don, is that if the president tries to sweeten the deal to woo more republican votes, then he risks losing lots of democratic votes and vice versa. this is really an issue about the fundamental differences between the two parties, the role of government in american life, that's why it is so hard to get to a deal. >> how dramatic. who would think talking about money and fiscal issues would garner so much drama, jessica. >> reporter: well, it is washington. and it is a lot at stake. it is about people's taxes, and, you know, the social safety net in america. it is the difference between democrats and republicans. >> yeah. we're going to talk more about the money now. thank you, jessica yellin. appreciate it. to new york now, joining us rick
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neuman, chief business correspondent for "u.s. news & world report." i want to ask you about the tax increase if there is no deal and tax rates rise, when would workers begin to see that reflekr reflected in their paychecks? when does the pain start? >> this is not one tax hike. this is about nine different sets of taxes. and the one that would go up right away is the payroll tax. that was cut temporarily in 2 009, cut by two percentage points and will go back up by two percentage points and that would come out of workers' paychecks right off the bat. it would add up to something like $60, $70 a month for the typical worker. we hear about all the tax rates that are going up, that actually wouldn't involve money that is in people's pockets until they actually pay their taxes or do their tax returns the following year. because that's when they would have to calculate the amount they owe and whether they paid enough taxes in 2013. so the good and bad news about
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that is that is not going to affect people right away, but that also means they can put that one off for a long time and we could go -- we could go through much of 2013 without knowing what tax rates are going to be for the year 2013. >> we haven't yet seen any major retreat of the stock market. the bigger picture, though, how anxious is america's business community about the spectacle we're seeing in washington and the repeated inability of the president and the congress as a matter of fact to make fundamental decisions that affect the economy? >> well, to say that business leaders are anxious i think is an understatement. i think they're thoroughly disgusted because you couldn't run a business like this. and they all know that. it is just kind of driving them crazy. but business leaders have been watching this for a long time, don. unlike a lot of consumers who may have started paying attention over the last couple of weeks. business leaders have known this is coming for a long time. they know how ugly and dysfunctional it was in 2011 when we went through something similar with the debt ceiling and they more or less have been
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expecting the same thing. what we have seen over the last couple of months is that business activity has really slowed down. businesses have really lowered their spending. they're basically just waiting it out to see what happens. they need to know these things in order to plan for their businesses. what are their tax rates going to be, what are tax credits going to be in effect so they know how to spend their money. without knowing those things, many are spending as little as they can and just waiting. we're seeing the economy growing at only about 1% right now in the fourth quarter. and that's a big part of the reason. that's almost near recession levels. >> it is a wait and see game. i heard harry reid say something on the floor of the senate and i want to ask you about it. take a listen, if you would, he's talking about taxes. >> the 2% don't want to be protected. the majority of rich people in -- on our great country are willing to pay more. the only people who disagree with that are republicans who work in this building. >> do you think that's the case,
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that harry reid seems to be saying that wealthy americans are willing to take a tax hike -- a tax hit for better -- for the better of the country? is that true? >> there are two things going on. a lot of wealthy people recognize their tax burden is low by historical standards and know they can afford to pay more taxes. i don't think they're eager to pay more taxes for one important reason, they just don't think the money is going to get used well. people just do not trust washington to spend their money effectively and i think if they had greater trust in washington, there would not be so much resistance to this, so the irony of this, don, is that this spectacle that we're seeing right now in washington is contributing to the problem and people see this, they're even more reluctant to pay taxes or to put up with the tax hike. so it is almost like it is a self-perpetuating problem. >> rick newman, thank you, sir. >> sure thing, don. in other news, he's remembered as a liberator, not a conqueror. tributes pouring in for general
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norman schwarzkopf. he died yesterday in tampa, florida. he became a household name in the '90s when he led coalition forces in first gulf war. he once told larry king he hated war. president obama called schwarzkopf's death the loss of an american original. norman schwarzkopf was 78. secretary of state hillary clinton will be back in the office next week. clinton has been recuperating at home from a stomach flu and a concussion suffered when she fainted and fell. her doctors have told her not to travel overseas for the next few weeks. but she is expected to testify before congress on the september attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya. put the harps back in the closet. that's the word from former president george h.w. bush's chief of staff. she says the condition of the 88-year-old former president is not dire. his family is expressing confidence that he will soon be released from an intensive care unit. he's been treated for a high
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fever at a houston hospital. with the nation reeling from the tragedy in newtown, connecticut, and engaged in a national debate on gun control, chicago reaches a deadly milestone despite the toughest laws when it comes to owning firearms. federal investigators arrested a new york city woman, they say she used the school's shooting in newtown as a way to make money. time for citi price rewind. because your daughter really wants that pink castle thing. and you really don't want to pay more than you have to. only citi price rewind automatically searches for the lowest price. and if it finds one, you get refunded the difference. just use your citi card and register your purchase online. have a super sparkly day! ok. [ male announcer ] now all you need is a magic carriage. citi price rewind. start saving at stop! stop! stop! come back here! humans -- we are beautifully imperfect creatures living in an imperfect world.
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[ male announcer ] when diarrhea hits, kaopectate stops it fast. powerful liquid relief speeds to the source. fast. [ male announcer ] stop the uh-oh fast with kaopectate. a domestic violence suspect grabbed a gun and opened fire in a police station today hitting three officers. one officer was hit below his bulletproof vest and is in stable condition at a camden hospital. two other officers suffered minor injuries. police returned fire and killed that gunman. while the nation grieves for
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new toub tow n newtown, connecticut, chicago reaches a milestone. the 500th murder of the year. that's up by more than 50 from last year and it is first time chicago has hit 500 murders since 2008. another very troubling number. 270 children have been killed by gun violence in chicago in the past five years. joining me now, chicago tribune columnist john katz. before we talk, i want you to listen to this interview i did in chicago a few years ago. what is the violence for? what is the whole reason for shooting? why do so many people get shot? >> traffic flow my way. >> do you kill somebody you get rid of them, that's more money for you? i don't mean you specifically. >> not me specifically, but some
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people. >> explain it to me, what do you mean by that? >> [ bleep ]. some people got it down. got to get on top. >> he was an admitted gang banger as he said, john. has anything changed in chicago since i did that interview in 2009? >> by the way, that was a fantastic interview and i think you get to the heart of the problem. there is a gang war in chicago on the west and south sides. the police are outmanned, undermanned and outgunned. and the criminals are killing each other to climb up, you know, the next wrung on the ladder. i don't know what this 500th homicide, the motivation was, the fellow -- the victim had
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been in and out of prison and served time for armed robbery. comes out of prison, was shot before he comes out and is shot in the back of the head. this is chicago. nobody saw a thing. >> so let's talk about -- >> but there's news. but there's news. >> yeah, go ahead. >> the news is that now -- now the city, i was just told by jeremy goraner, a police reporter for the chicago tribune, the police department is now saying, wait a minute, when we told you 500, yesterday, or last night, now we're going to take the number down to 499 because they found the fellow named eddie phelps who was beaten to death on december 22nd, and now they're reclassifying it, saying it is not a homicide, pending further investigation. >> well -- >> i don't know maybe he beat himself to death with a blunt object. >> come on. it is still -- listen, not to make light of this, it is 499
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people, right? yeah. i want to talk to you about gangs a little bit more and then talk about guns. 60% of the homicide, gangs. you said in that interview, it gets to the heart of the problem. when i spoke to that young man, he said, sometimes why would i want to work at mcdonald's, i can make $6,000, $7,000 in a couple of hours. in a night, he said some people make $20,000, $30,000, $40,000. he said as you heard in the interview, you got to -- in order to get on top you got to knock the people out on the bottom. it is that, and also the proliferation of guns that are coming in through the corridor, even from indiana and below. >> there have been guns in chicago since the 19 -- early 19th doct-- the last century. we had gang wars before. the chicago outfit gang wars, other groups gang wars. we have mexican cartels gang wars, so we have always had guns in chicago and every city in the country. what you're seeing now is
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because there is no resources, okay, they have spent all the money. in chicago, the new -- the mayor currently, mayor rahm emanuel comes in, the previous mayor spent all the money. there is no money. illinois, there are $100 billion in the hole in terms of the deficit. nationally, you got all these people in the earlier segment playing blame game in washington. guess what? when you're spending more money than you pull in, eventually the money runs out. then you can blame all you want. but there is no money. for basic services, like police, like good education, all that stuff. they don't care about that. they spend the money on what they want to get elected. >> when you're saying that the previous mayor spent all the money, you're talking about mayor daly. rahm emanuel is in place now. >> right. >> he spent all the money on what? and then, two, what is the realistic proposal here to
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reverse the violence? >> well, over 20 years i can give you a laundry list of corruption and cronyism. but you know it well because you were here as well. and you saw it. there was a reporter once for "time" doing a cnn profile, comparing richard daly to andy of maybury and said he presides over chicago like andy of maybury. now that reporter is the press secretary for president obama. so there had been -- not you, obviously, but there had been people who were papering over and smooching up and making things look nice when they weren't nice. the city is broke. we're a thousand police officers down, at least, right? and now the city is creating this news flap, public relations issue, saying there is now we're going to take one off the 500 and make it 499. you're right, don. the kids are killing each other to climb up to make a few bucks.
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what's the answer? i don't know. do you have an answer? i don't. i do -- >> we should try to figure it out. we should try it figure it out whatever it is. john, i like you don't mince words. you promise to come back and talk more about this? this is an issue close to my heart. >> i love being on with you. i love being on with you. one last thing. we take a bit -- we make the sandy hook, which was a tragedy, a big deal. why don't the politicians come to the funerals of the dead african-american and latino kids who get killed by the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds. t they're pushed to the side. i'm not diminishing the others. but president obama, show up at a funeral here in chicago as well. we have showed you celebrities in the spotlight for giving. up next, actress eva longoria, who is helping latino women achieve academic success.
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many of you know eva longoria as a fiery hollywood actress. but did you know she's also my twitter buddy? today we're going to show you another side to this star, a side she's dedicated her life to, helping latinas get a college education. here is alina cho with today's big stars, big giving.
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>> i've been pulled a million different directions with supporting aids in africa or, you know, sex trafficking in thailand or dolphins in japan and you can't do everything. and so in thinking what do i really want to do, where can i create the most impact? >> reporter: to answer that question, you could say eva longoria looked in the mirror. >> i always knew i wanted to be with women and within the latino community. >> reporter: best known for playing the vixen on "desperate housewives." >> how are you? >> the best you ever had. >> reporter: -- longoria had humble beginnings. the youngest of four daughters in texas to mexican-american parents. >> i wasn't the first to go to college. it was expected. >> reporter: let's be honest, you went to college, it wasn't a walk in the park. you had to work. >> i was flipping burgers. i was an assistant to a dentist. i worked in a car shop changing oil. i was an aerobics instructor.
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i was a work-study. >> reporter: 17% of latinas drop out of high school. fewer than half of adult latinas hold college degrees. in 2010, the actress started a foundation, focusing on helping latinas get a college education. >> i just have to schmooze with them. >> reporter: on the day we meet up with her at this high school in los angeles, she's the keynote speaker at a graduation for parents. >> and here is taking a stand for their child. >> reporter: the program is called for piqe. >> it is a nine-week program that parents can take in order to help them navigate the institution of schools. it is not easy. i sat with a lot of these parents before the program and they didn't know what a transcript looked like, they didn't know what a gpa was, they didn't know what s.a.t. meant. >> reporter: children of parents who graduate are guaranteed admission to one of several schools in the cal state university system, provided they
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meet the basic requirements, like wanda martinez. >> i only went to elementary school. >> reporter: she graduated from piqe so her daughter ail haulex could have a better future. >> make your mother proud. we need to be an educated community because this is going to be our future workforce. >> reporter: something lon garria has talked about a lot on the campaign trail. and now as a co-chair of president obama's inaugural committee. are you nervous? >> i'm very nervous. >> reporter: what will you wear? >> who knows. i don't know. >> reporter: politics and philanthropy, making a difference in both. >> i'm funding these programs because i believe in them. i think it is important that you, yourself, as a role model, as a philanthropist, an activist, you, yourself, give out of your back pocket. i would give my shirt off before i would ask you to give yours. >> alina and eva, thank you.
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for more on how you can help, go to shocking child case -- care abuse claims and what makes this story more disturbing, the alleged abuse took place on a military base. barbara starr talks with one of the moms whose child was allegedly mistreated. customer erin swenson bought from us online today. so, i'm happy. sales go up... i'm happy. it went out today... i'm happy. what if she's not home?
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horrified parents are watching as a scandal unfolds at their child's day care facility in washington. two people arrested over the abuse. then another shocking discovery, another one, 30 of those child care workers had questionable backgrounds including drug abuse
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and previous sexual assault. they have been dismissed. this all happened at a child care facility on the ft. myer military base in virginia. the president himself taking the unprecedented step of calling the secretary of the army to make sure action was being taken. cnn's barbara starr spoke to the mother of one of the children who was allegedly mistreated. she joins me now from the pentagon. what did she tell you? >> reporter: well, this really is a heart breaking case. you know, i just have to put it in perspective, a military installation, a child care facility, a stone's throw from where i am standing at the pentagon, it would take me just a few minutes to walk across the road to this child care operation. a mother who has now learned that her young toddler was one of the victims of this alleged child abuse decided to speak out about it. she wanted her face shielded, she wants her children's privacy protected. she still worries about
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retaliation against her husband, by the military, but she tells us a chilling tale. >> all along this first week when we were being sort of given piecemeal information, denied access to the videotapes, we were also being asked if we wanted to seek medical care for our child. so -- >> medical care for what? >> for what, obviously. we wanted to understand and see with our own eyes since that evidence was available. >> barbara, it took a long time for the information to come out. why? and what steps is the department taking, the defense department, taking now over this? >> reporter: well, it took this couple actually weeks to get access to the videotapes that they then saw showing their young child being abused by the day care workers bad enough. the army said they had to wait because there was a criminal case pending. but, look, these parents wanted the -- all the parents wanted
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the full information about what had happened to their children. i have now spoken to at least half a dozen parents who had children at this day care facility. you hear the same thing from them, that the army initially just simply didn't react fast enough. didn't tell them the full information about what was going on. it took several weeks. now the army does have a full investigation under way and as you pointed out, it has all led to president obama picking up the phone, calling the pentagon and saying, what on earth is going on. >> barbara starr, thank you very much. you can watch barbara's entire report tonight on erin burnett out front 7:00 p.m. eastern here on cnn. eyes of the world right now focusing on the white house. within the next hour, congressional leaders will arrive for what is likely to be a very tense meeting with the president of the united states. this is perhaps the final effort to avert the new year's tax increase that is expected to
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cost the average family several thousand dollars a year. four days remain to reach an agreement, get it passed by the house and senate, and signed into law by the president. as we said, we're talking a long shot here. as we await the arrival at the white house of the top four members of congress, they're schedule scheduled to meet with the president at 3:00 p.m. eastern time. and as we talk about the fiscal cliff, we talk mostly about the tax increase, but it is more than just that. tom foreman explains now. >> as these negotiations go on, everybody says here comes the cliff, here comes the cliff. it is not a sudden effect because it doesn't all happen at once. but it does happen and some people will feel it absolutely more than others. remember there are automatic mandatory cuts that will kick in in the circumstance and hit many different departments. for example, if you are unemployed now, benefits will stop for 2.1 million unemployed americans if we go over the cliff and just as a point of reference here, if, in fact,
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they wanted to extend the benefits, that would cost $30 billion, which is not a whole lot in the federal budget, but nonetheless, a group that would feel the cliff and feel it fast. what about people who are traveling out there, the transportation department. $1 billion in cuts to mandatory spending in the transportation department. what will that mean? slower air travel and higher fares. i'll tell you why. because there will be fewer air traffic controllers, customs officers, security officers out there, that means fewer people to process you through the airport, your luggage and everything else to get you where you're going, and as that happens, they're going to have to have more overtime from the people who are there. that's what is going to run the cost up. that could have an impact. here is the one that could touch virtually everyone in the country. go to the treasury department here. 100 million taxpayers would be unable to file until late march because they would not have as many people as they would normally have to process your tax returns. you know what is coming next? that also means a delay in tax
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refunds. the treasury department normally sends out about $72 million in tax refunds in january and february. that would not happen if the fiscal cliff comes. they wouldn't be able to keep up with the work load. and there would be unexpected higher taxes for most americans because, remember, that's another part of the equation. so many different groups could be hit in many different ways at many times, but the bottom line is if these negotiations continue to stall and don't come through, and the cliff comes, people will indeed feel it all over this country. >> all right, tom foreman, that was cnn's tom foreman in washington. as we await this 3:00 p.m. meeting at the white house, an attempt to reach an agreement before we hit the fiscal cliff on tuesday. stay tuned. one-two weather punch, a massive storm causing huge problems since christmas day finally over. but another is on the way. chad myers is tracking this latest storm for us. heart break for dozens of american families in the process of adopting children from russia as russia's president signs an
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nasty, nasty, nasty winter storm has eased, but it left a lot of the u.s. covered with snow. maine was the last to feel the brunt of the snowstorm, which hammered the midwest and south just this week. some areas of maine saw up to ten inches of snow overnight, forcing state offices to close. the bad weather not over yet. northeast bracing for more snow this weekend. chad myers, the question is when will it end? >> april. we have one storm after another,
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don. i'm not kidding. over the next 15 days, there are five separate storms that will run across the u.s. putting down snow. now, down here, down to the south, putting down rain. but farther north, north of the mason dixon line, it is all snow. and it will continue to snow. and sometimes we say snow makes snow. because if the ground is covered in snow, the air above it stays cooler. if the air is cooler, you have a chance of rain or snow, what will it be? you have this ripple effect, one thing after another effect and so more snow heading even into new york city for tomorrow night. now, there is rain now moving into new orleans here, baton rouge seeing very heavy rain, could get a little flooding here, some quick flooding, it will go away quickly. here across parts of mississippi, alabama, even into atlanta, rain coming in, and then along that line, right where the snow is now. don, would you believe, 65% of the u.s. right now is covered with some type of snow. inch or more. 65%. the most we could get at all
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last year was 45% in february. 48%. we're better than that. and really, you know, it is just starting. this is winter, just starting. the snow does move across the north anywhere from north of memphis right through evansville, cincinnati, columbus, ohio, into pennsylvania. that's the center of the heaviest snow. 50 miles one way or the other you'll get snow. cincinnati, lexington, you could get ice mixing in. snow comes in for tomorrow morning, into tomorrow afternoon. there is a bowl game going on at yankee stadium tomorrow. it will be snowing for sure there. and pulling to the east by sunday night and into monday. but if that is not good enough for you, there is another one for tuesday, another one for friday, and another one for next tuesday as well, spreading snow and maybe cheer, i don't know, or bronx cheers because it is yankees stadium, throughout the northeast. >> are you rubbing it? all i heard you snay is snow, snow, snow, snow, snow.
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you're like charlie brown's mom. >> rain for new orleans. >> thank you, chad. we'll check back with you. a woman accused of posing as a relative of a murdered schoolchild out of newtown, connecticut, she was allegedly soliciting money for a fake fund. that's next. [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso. i just finished a bowl of your new light chicken pot pie soup and it's so rich and creamy... is it really 100 calories? let me put you on webcan... ...lean roasted chicken... and a creamy broth mmm i can still see you. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. ♪ you make me happy when skies are gray ♪ [ female announcer ] you know exactly what it takes to make them feel better. ♪ you make me happy [ female announcer ] that's why you choose children's tylenol. the same brand your mom trusted for you when you were young. ♪ how much i love you [ humming ] [ female announcer ] children's tylenol,
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okay. look at that. do you see who that is?
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that is house speaker john boehner. let's keep our fingers crossed something will get done. he's arriving at the capital, headed over to meet with the president in a few minutes. they'll meet in the oval office. it will be john boehner, nancy pelosi, mitch mcconnell, harry reid, and, of course, the president. and they're trying to get it all done within just a couple of days. that was john boehner arriving at the capital. if we get the other folks, we'll get them on the tv for you as well. so it doesn't get much more heartless than this. a 37-year-old bronx woman, nouel alba, made a facebook page claiming to be the aunt of 6-year-old noah pozner. one of the children, noah was one of the children killed in the connecticut mass shooting. generous people wanting to help the family out began donating money to her pay pal account. the alleged ruse came undone when noah's ufrn luncle contact
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saying he had no idea who this woman was. alba claimed she was hacked. last week david fitzpatrick approached her for an explanation and she let us record her voice, but not on camera. here's what happened. >> that's not my pay pal account. i mean, i have a pay pal account like that. >> is that your e-mail? >> which one? >> it says right there. >> yeah, that's one of my gmails. >> your gmail account. >> yeah, my personal account. i never set up any funds for anybody. >> you should know the pozner family tells us they're very upset by all this. and -- >> but i never did anything to hurt them. >> the fbi agents have arrested alba over the charity scam and for lying to federal officers. matthew campbell from cnn affiliate wfsb tracked her down just today. >> we just want to get her side of the story here. 37-year-old nouel alba had no comment for us, but the man she
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was with did our best to fight off the questions about the heartless scam alba is accused of pulling. >> get out of here. >> the department of justice says just hours after the shooting, the bronx resident went to facebook, claiming to be the aunt of one of the victims, and asked for donations through pay pal and her bank account, writing, quote, we set up a funeral fund for my brother and families. anyone willing to make a donation can make one. agents say she took the lie even further trying to elicit sympathy by detailing the grief she was in, going through the agony of i.d.'ing body and weeping with the president when he visited sandy hook. he met with us, hugged with us, and cried with us. >> the person goes out of their way to scam people, that's evil. >> reporter: it hurts them more. alba was caught days later and
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voluntarily talked with fbi agents where she allegedly continued to lie, saying she never made a facebook post about newtown and says she was hacked. a search of the records and statements didn't add up. she maintained all donations to her pay pal were immediately refunded, but the feds say it took days before donors were paid back. >> i'll do anything i can to help the victims mourn with that. and to help them, not to destroy their lives. >> if convicted, nouel alba faces up to five years in prison and $250,000 fine. for the second time this month, a man has been shoved to his death at a subway station in new york city. witnesses say a woman was pacing on the platform as a train approached before pushing the man to his death last night. the body was pinned under the train. his identity has not been released. police describe the suspect as a heavy set woman in her 20s, security video shows her running from the scene. earlier this month, a
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58-year-old man was shoved to his death at a times square station and a homeless man was charged in the case. just ahead on cnn, the fallout from dozens of american families in the process of adopting children from russia as russia's president imposes an adoption ban.
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is this pay back? that's what many are thinking after russia imposes a ban on adoptions by u.s. families. it was signed into law by president vladimir putin. more than 50 children were in the final stages of the adoption process when the bill was signed. russia's child rights commissioner says the children will now stay in russia. joining me now from the state department is allyse labott.
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so sad when you think about the kids that were going to go to loving homes. is this pay back for the u.s. -- for the decision to ban entry into this country by russians allegedly involved in human rights abuses and what is the u.s. saying about it? >> that's exactly what the state department is saying. they're saying the russians are playing politics with the lives of poor orphans in russia who don't have any place to go. let me read you a little bit of a statement from the state department today saying the russian government's politically motivated decision will reduce adoption possibilities for children who are now under institutional care. we are further concerned about statements that adoptions already under way may be stopped and hope that the russian government would all those children who have already met and bonded with their future parents to finish the necessary legal procedures so that they can join your families. don, there are 46 families that have already met their perspective adoptive children and the children are bonded with
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the parents. and what state department officials are telling me is that they hope at least they can resolve these cases already in the pipeline before trying to negotiate with the russians on lifting the ban entirely. >> elise, how is this decision being spun by russia's leaders? >> well, they're saying it is about the welfare of the children. you might remember there have been some cases of abuse and even deaths in the case of russian children who have been adopted in the united states. but the u.s. and the russians have spent the last almost two years negotiating an adoption agreement that was signed in november and so the u.s. is saying this really -- these types of concerns are not at play, this is total politics, payback for the so-called -- that the u.s. imposed for russian officials that are involved in human rights abuses. and they're saying that this is not fair to take it out on the children. >> the reaction from russian citizens to this ban? >> well, the russians are split about this. we have seen a lot of russian
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adoption agencies and ngos upset about it. and even some lawmakers and cabinet members. usually it is not very common to speak against a kremlin move such as this, but there does seem to be a divide in russian society about whether this, a, is best for the children, and, b, best for the relationship with the u.s. and russia. >> what happens, elise, to the russian kids who were -- just about to be adopted? >> well, right now it is just statements coming from russia, but all the parents can do is wait for what is going to happen next. these children are in the pipeline. the state department is saying this is the real priority to get these out, but right now the children are in the orphans, waiting. the parents are waiting here at the united states and the big fear is that they'll be -- these russian children will be put back into the adoption registry where there is no guarantee that they'll be adopted. >> elise labott, thank you very much. a preview of cnn's new year's eve coverage, brooke
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baldwin talks with anderson cooper and kathy griffin. it is not long before their conversation turns to pole dancing.
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and crawl of d.c. traffic, robert harrison made a sometimes difficult living as a limo driver. but a surge of new riders now has him for the first time heading into the holidays with real optimism about his job. >> they have saved the day for us as independent limo drivers. >> reporter: that's the impact. >> that's the impact, absolutely. >> reporter: he says he owes it to uber, a relatively new service that allows limo drivers to connect electronically with people nearby who need a car right now. so your smartphone knows where you are, you put in a request for a car, and in a matter of moments -- >> hi, i have a hit. >> reporter: that allows drivers who often have hours to kill between prearranged rides to turn the waiting time into money-making time. he gets 20% of each fare, the driver gets the rest. travis came up with the idea five years ago and spread it to more than a dozen cities here and abroad. >> if you can fill that time out for those guys, help them get
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business during their dead time, they can do a far better job, sort of making ends meet, you know, making a living wage. >> reporter: the rapid rise is not without controversy. in a number of cities, taxi operators and local officials have questioned whether uber and other similar ventures are dodging laws that control taxi rates and protect consumers. to be sure, an uber car is more expensive than a taxi, but the service is proving so popular with customers who like the comfort and convenience, some cities are already pushing aside the reservations and harrison says that's great news. >> no uber driver out here will not tell you they're not making any money. if they are, they're trying to discourage other drivers from coming on. >> reporter: tom foreman, cnn, washington. don't have plans for new year's eve yet? join anderson cooper, comedian kathy griffin and brooke baldwin as they ring in 2013 starting at 10:00 eastern. they promise to be on their best
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behavior, but we wouldn't count on that.anderson, please, break down for brooke who our big performers are. >> let's go there. i understand, anderson cooper, we do not have musical acts anymore because this one, this one, you know, won't stop talking and there was a time when you had a little thing with a lil wayne, roll it. ♪ >> special shoutout to mr. anderson cooper and miss kathy griffin. >> that wasn't kathy griffin on the pole. that was a backup dancer. >> kathy griffin lee. have we corrected this? >> also -- >> i did talk to lil wayne. >> okay. >> see, see -- >> what? >> you're about to talk about the pole? >> there was a woman upside down
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grinding on a pole behind him that we had to blur out part of the pole, the whole thing was ridiculous. we decided -- >> it turns out i'm really the angel one on cnn. i'm really the one you can count on to be classy. >> that's right, yes, you keep it classy. >> i think if this is an indication of how this 2012 nears it will be an interesting one. ringing in 2013 with you two, i can't wait. i'll be in new orleans. i'll see you two there. and everyone else. see you guys on new year's eve. >> thanks, brooke. >> see you there. >> anderson and kathy will be live from new york and brooke will be live in new orleans, for the countdown to 2013 starting 10:00 p.m. eastern here on cnn. i'm don lemon. brooke is off today. the time is now for that last ditch effort to avert the fiscal
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cliff. if they're sticking to the schedule, the president is sitting down right now at the white house. inside that building you see right there. he's sitting down with the top four leaders of congress. they're trying to find a way to prevent the january tax increase that's about to wallop taxpayers. a short time ago, we got a glimpse of how speaker john boehner. he was on his way to the white house. and just moments ago, we saw the top senate democrat, harry reid, pull up to the west entrance, and into the white house through a side door. jessica yellin standing by for us at the white house on the lawn, set the scene for us if you will. it is very dramatic. >> reporter: it is game time here at the white house. if they're going to reach a deal, this is the meeting where they'll do it. i understand both leader reid and leader mcconnell from the senate have arrived. we have not seen speaker boehner or nancy pelosi, leader pelosi walk into the white house yet.
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before i plugged in at least she hadn't, they hadn't arrived. but it is a matter of minutes until they should all take their seats in the oval office and begin the discussion that should help resolve whether or not the nation will go over the fiscal cliff in the next few days. this won't end the discussion, but it should launch us into the next steps. can they hash out the basic form of an agreement, a scaled down agreement. if they reach that threshold, can the senators assure each other that they have the time to get this done and no senator will filibuster it? if that's the case, they bring it to a vote tomorrow, and/or sunday and does the house agree to bring it to a vote on the floor of the house. those are a lot of ifs and we have until just monday night to get it all done. >> you'll be standing by, watching it all with every single detail. thank you, jessica yellin.
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now to lisa desjardins, live on capitol hill for us. so, lisa, just caught you talking with senator ben nelson of nebraska. here's what he said. >> if we don't have a deal within the next 24 hours, the question is where do you buy a parachute? looks like we'll be going over the cliff. because the closer we get to the end, the less likely it is you're going to be able to compress an agreement into place that will have enough votes to pass. >> compress is probably a nicer word, ram it through is probably what is going to have to happen in order to -- listen, he just said 24 hours, lisa, to reach an agreement. let's say that happens. maybe some kind of deal at the white house today. what would the mechanics of rushing the deal through congress and getting it passed into law in the next few days, give me those mechanics. >> okay. let's break it down so people are really clear on how this could possibly happen. there are some hurdles that congress would have to get passed, some they set up
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themselves. the first, the house has a 72-hour rule, they have to have bills printed, 72 hours before they vote on them. but the house has gotten around that before. they have to do that again, ignore or vote around that rule. second, you heard jesse talk about this, we have to also avoid a senate filibuster, either overrule a filibuster or more ideally not even have one. because in truth, don, it could take up to a week to go through all the possible filibuster procedures. they need to try to avoid that. finally, here is the deal, don, congress this congress could actually work until january 3rd at 12:00 noon. that's the exact minute when the new congress comes in. but they say that they could still stay in session until the last possible minute and work on this deal or, don, as we're hearing too, maybe they go over the cliff, past january 3rd, vote january 4th, january 5th. hearing more people talk about those kinds of dates now. i think in the end, don, i don't mean to confuse people, but i think the truth is people don't
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know what is going to happen. there are a lot of options, but the truth is this congress could still get out a deal by the time of the fiscal cliff deadline, or just after. it is hard, but possible. >> oh, boy. >> they can't blame the clock if it doesn't happen. >> let's keep in mind, the house isn't even in session. it is to convene on sunday evening to do what? >> well, there is a lost things the house could do. the truth is the house is coming back because of the fiscal cliff. they're coming back in case there is a potential deal, in case there is something to debate and discuss. now, there are other things they can do if there is no fiscal cliff deal. namely hurricane sandy supplemental might need work, also work on the farm bill, also overdue. there are other things, plenty of business to work open, but the truth is they're coming back because of the fiscal cliff, in case there might be a deal, and also to show that they're working until the last minute. >> lisa, i love you, but you just depress me. >> oh, no! >> i know.
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>> have faith. have faith. honestly, it is not -- these guys are best at the last minute. i think we're far from the last minute, though it feels that way to a lot of people. especially the unemployed losing their benefits tomorrow. it is a serious matter. they're best at the last minute and they're not there yet. >> we shall see. >> try to smile. >> i'll try. i'm sure many americans are trying as well. we talked about the effect of hitting the fiscal cliff on american taxpayers. what about businesss? what about businesses? rick newman of u.s. news and world reports tells us they're cutting back already. >> to say that business leaders are anxious i think is an understatement. i think they're thoroughly disgusted because you couldn't run a business like this, and they all know that. it is just kind of driving them crazy. but business leaders have been watching this for a long time, don. unlike a lot of consumers who may have just started paying attention over the last couple of weeks. business leaders have known this is coming for a long time. they know how ugly and dysfunctional it was in 2011
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when we went through something similar with the debt ceiling. and they have more or less been expecting the same thing. so what we have seen over the last couple of months is that business activity has really slowed down. >> rick newman, u.s. news and world reports. why don't we remind you once again, that meeting is under way at the white house. at the white house, between the president and the top four leaders of congress, we got our eyes on the white house for you. if we hear something out of that meeting, you'll be the first to know. . he's being honored and remembered as a liberator, not a conqueror. tributes pouring in for general norman schwarzkopf known as stormin' norman. he died yesterday in tampa. he became a household name in the '90s when he led coalition forces during the first gulf war. but he once told larry king he hated war. president obama calls schwarzkopf's death the loss of an american original. general colon powell says his lead eership inspired a nation.
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he was 78 years ole. hillary clinton will be back in the office next week. clinton has been recuperating at home from a stomach flu and concussion suffered when she fainted and fell. her doctors have told her not to travel overseas for the next few weeks but she is expected to testify before congress on the september attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya. put the harps back in the closet. that is the word from former president george h.w. bush's chief of staff. she says the condition of the 88-year-old former president is not dire. his family is also expressing confidence that he will soon be released from an intensive care unit. he's being treated for high fever at a houston hospital. a grim milestone in chicago as a city marks the 500th murder this year. >> the guns are coming in, drugs coming in and jobs are going out. >> up next, reverend jesse jackson and the chicago reporter weigh in on what, if anything,
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can be done to curb the violence. what if the next big , isn't a thing at all? it's lots of things. all waking up. connecting to the global phenomenon we call the internet of everything. ♪ it's going to be amazing. and exciting. and maybe, most remarkably, not that far away. we're going to wake the world up. and watch, with eyes wide, as it gets to work. cisco. tomorrow starts here. [ woman ] ♪ what i want this season ♪ if you'd like to try and guess ♪ ♪ it is something very special ♪ i would readily confess [ dogs barking ] ♪ 'cause all i want this season ♪ ♪ is something from your heart ♪ la da da, la da da [ male announcer ] thinking of others this holiday season, travelers.
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grim milestone reached thursday night in chicago. we'll get to that. first to the white house. this is happening right now. you see the white house there, in the middle. really it is all pictures of the white house, entrance, the one on the right.
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harry reid in there with mitch mcconnell, john boehner, nancy pelosi and the president, trying to strike out a deal, come up with a deal before we head over the fiscal cliff and we get all the tax hikes. going to raise the taxes of the average american. so we'll keep an eye on the oval office as we report other news here. you'll be the first to know it if we hear anything. now on to the grim milestone reached thursday night in chicago. when a man was killed in the city's west side, it marked the 500th murder this year, up more than 50 from a year ago. it is the first time since 2008 that 500 people have been killed in that city. earlier today the reverend jesse jackson told cnn chicago officials can't do much to stop the bloodshed. >> it is a grim reminder of how desperate we are. we have been riveted by the killing in newtown, the children will never see santa claus again, never have an easter bunny. something about that grabbed us. i think the president's focus
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was well focused but serves to illuminate the crisis in chicago. 32,000 americans are killed by gunfire a year across the country. here is the problem. no gunshots in chicago. guns come in from the suburbs and drugs come in from mexico. we know the three gun shops that sell most of the guns that come to chicago. one gun shop alone in riverdale sells half the guns that kill people in chicago. the mayor, mayor daly worked on it, mayor emanuel works on it. they have to stop the guns from coming in and the drug interests co from coming in and the jobs from going out. >> there is a gang war in chicago on the west and south sides. the police are outmanned, undermanned and outgunned. and the criminals are killing each other to climb up, you know, the next wrung on the
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ladder. we make the sandy hook, which was a tragedy, a big deal. why don't the politicians come to the funerals of the dead african-american and latino kids who get killed by the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds. they're pushed to the side. i'm not diminishing the others, i'm just saying president obama, show up at a funeral here in chicago once and a while too. >> john kass, everyone. 2,000 guns are off streets of los angeles, a record-breaking number for the city's gun buyback event. with the guns that were exchanged for grocery gift cards, two rocket launchers. no word on whether the launchers were the real deal. the l.a. police chief told the times that the weapons would not be checked for connections to crimes in fear of deterring people from turning them in. in utah, about 200 teachers are learning how to use a gun. they attended a free gun training class geared towards
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helping them fight back if needed. fighting back is something educators are thinking about since the tragedy at sandy hook elementary school in newtown, connecticut. some teachers feel knowing how to use a gun is necessary. >> i think it is important to have, you know, protection, because if you don't have it, i feel like we're sitting ducks. >> cnn's ali velshi spoke to the chair of the utah shooting sports council earlier. >> for the past 12 years we have taught school employees free of charge and had a fantastic turnout yesterday. we continue to do this. we're not necessarily arming teachers. in fact, far be it. it is completely up to them whether they want to obtain the permit after the training and get a firearm, even if they get a firearm, it is up to them whether they want to carry it in the schools. i tend to think after the events in connecticut and colorado that a lot more teachers are going to
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go to school armed. >> utah is one of the few states that allows teachers to carry concealed weapons in public schools. the mississippi river water levels are down. how that can impact barge traffic and in turn jobs right after this break. before we go to break, fiscal cliff meeting at the white house right now, four top members of congress meeting with the president in the oval office. can they avert us going over that fiscal cliff? [ male announcer ] it's that time of year again. time for citi price rewind. because your daughter really wants that pink castle thing. and you really don't want to pay more than you have to. only citi price rewind automatically searches for the lowest price. and if it finds one, you get refunded the difference. just use your citi card and register your purchase online. have a super sparkly day! ok. [ male announcer ] now all you need is a magic carriage. citi price rewind. start saving at
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all right, we're back. happening right now, live pictures of the white house. four top ranking members of congress meeting with the president trying to avert a
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fiscal cliff. as soon as we get word, you'll be the first to know. no strike for at least a month for workers at ports on the east and gulf coasts. it would be a big deal for the nation's economy if the international longshoreman's association does strike. the contract was due to expire a minute after midnight sunday, but good news, good news today as both parties agree to a partial deal to keep talking. they were able to work out a major sticking point that extends the contract for a month. so stay tuned. more water is drastically needed in the mississippi river. the need is so dire, barge traffic may shut down as early as next week. that means thousands of shippers may lose their jobs. water levels and ice forming in the river right now makes it difficult for the ships to pass through. ships carry about $7 billion in goods on the river in december and in january. that's according to bloomberg
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report. i want to bring in chad myers now. how will the current weather situation play into this? will the river get the help it needs? >> no. not in the places that need it. remember we talked about the rain, all this snow that is going to come down in the south. it is not the southern half of the river that is in trouble. it is the part that is north of the ohio river. here is the ohio river right here. if you look at the drought map where it has been the driest, it hasn't been that dry here in the ohio river valley. so the water that spills into the mississippi right here is good. so that's all the way down to the mississippi, the levels are just fine. but when you go north of there, you have to understand all of missouri, all of wisconsin, all of minnesota, all of iowa, 100% nebraska, south dakota, wyoming, colorado, kansas, oklahoma, 100% of all the acres in all of those states are in a drought. all of it. the entire state. so as -- this has been going on
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for now months. that's when we lost a lot of the corn crop, soybeans, a lost thi -- a lot of things out here. will it rain? yes, but to the south of here, where they really need it. this is what the barges look like. they're drigging, drilling, blasting rocks out of the way trying to keep the northern part of the river open. they're not doing very well. they don't have any help. they're releasing some water from lakes. we have a couple of locks north of there. you have to try to keep the entire river going, can't just stop all the barges at the ohio river and say, okay, you can't go any farther. you have to unload or off load everything you have. so right here, that right there, that's the ohio river. everything north of there, not a drop. couple of snowflakes, but we need this, that type of rain, that is just not going to happen. talk about a couple more storms heading to the northeast here the next couple of days. and certainly by tomorrow afternoon, it will be snowing in new york. tomorrow afternoon, cincinnati, ohio, back to pittsburgh, into
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wilkes-barre, scranton, seeing snow. new york city, by tomorrow morning, and then finally up to boston, don't know the forecast for boston yet. i'm telling you, it could be 4 to 10 inches of snow. i don't like that, i don't like to have the big range. there are a couple of models that say 2 to 4 and one now that is saying 8 to 12. you take the dice and throw them and say which one is going to be right. at this point, we don't know. boston, the weekend, but keep your eye on this one. >> chad, you couldn't be a politician. i asked you a question and you give me a direct answer. they'll get the rain they need, you say no, right? >> that's correct. >> they could use you in the oval office. >> i'm a black and white kind of guy. yes and no. zero shades of gray. >> they could use you at the white house now because the president is meeting with the top members of congress and they're talking about the fiscal cliff we have been reporting on. this could be the breakthrough. let's hope so. we're heading to capitol hill right after this break.
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if your bank doesn't let you talk to a real person 24/7, you need an ally. hello? ally bank. your money needs an ally. okay. as we look to the white house, we sure hope that they are getting something done, the fiscal cliff meeting at the white house right now. what were the mechanics of rushing the deal through congress and getting it passed into law? what would that look like in four days? lisa desjardins joins us now. what will it look like? >> well, there is a couple of possibilities, don. one is that they take sort of the remnants of one of the bills that passed the house or the senate and they just change it. they add whatever is in this deal to it. they have a whole bunch of vehicles that are possible for that. one sticking point, because this deal would most likely deal with
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taxes, there is a rule in the constitution that is has been interpreted by most every side to determine it has to begin in the house, revenue measures begin in the house. they need a bill that starts in the house, okay, they have a lot to do that. then the trick is making sure they have the votes. i think if we see anything come out of tonight's meeting, anything substantial, that's what is going to happen this next day and a half. leaders on both sides have to make sure they have got the people on board to do this. one last thing, don, really important, they would have to make sure there is not a senate filibuster. that's something that could ensure no deal would go through by january 1st. and it is funny, don, i just ran into senator rand paul of kentucky. he's known as a tea party fire brand, known as someone who is willing to stage a filibuster on his own. i said, what would make you stage a filibuster if anything on this. he said, if it extends the debt ceiling permanently, probably, and he also said i'm also concerned about how much money might spent on unemployment. he said he's watching that. he hasn't made any decisions
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yet. but it is something to watch because it is an issue that the democrats and the president are likely to bring up soon, expiring unemployment benefits. so how about that? >> did you read between the lines there? if we don't get exactly what we want, i'll filibuster. this will be crazy. you said if, you know if there is no guarantee, if there is a guarantee of no one filibustering, you can't guarantee that. >> you have to remember on all sides there is interest and pressure in getting this done. and the reason we reached this impasse now is not necessarily politics. politics i think is why it is these two sides have such a hard time talking to each other. that's politics. but i think at this moment when we're facing what could be a national crisis, literally, the impasse problem is about philosophy. and that these two sides have very different approaches, they're both concerned about very different things, about how you tax people and who you tax and also about who gets the benefits of government and how.
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how you care for the poor, how much government spends on the poor. they're very different and i think those philosophical differences are why they are really at loggerheads at this moment. the politics has not helped. right now, i think we're dealing with philosophy. >> absolutely. lisa, don't go anywhere. do we have ali velshi? is ali velshi there? ali? you have more coming up, i know. >> i do. i want to tell you about -- >> help me out here. they're not that far apart, are they? >> this is all politics. they're not that far apart. all the hard work has been done. and the danger of not getting a deal done far exceeds the danger of paying a little extra tax. i'll talk to you about that when i come back, don. >> see you after the break. >> all right.
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from the cnn money newsroom in new york, i'm ali velshi. this is your money. the fiscal cliff is a battle of ideological wills. some americans feel strongly that increasing taxes hurts the economy. quite possible that it will. but the central question is whether it will hurt all that much to raise income taxes a little bit on the highest earners in the country. well, to push the country to the edge of a recession over this is irresponsible. the increase will hardly affect the economy. but that's my opinion. and my opinion should count as much as anyone else's. the problem is that in washington one person's opinion
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carries disproportionate weight and that person is grover norquist. he's the head of americans for tax reform. they have got the pledge that mostly republican members of congress signed to say they won't increase taxes. now, understand this. the top marginal tax rate going from 35% to 39.6% is not a tax increase. it is a return to tax rates that would have taken place after the temporary bush tax cuts expired and got extended. so the way i see it, that cuts with designed to be temporary, but clearly norquist disagrees with me. >> let's say we let the bush tax cuts expire at the end of the year and then congress moved to increase tax rates. would that count? would that violate your pledge? >> that would clearly be -- look, you can't go to the american people and say we raised taxes $500 billion and then we cut it $400 billion, please only look at the cut, not the overall rate. if you raise taxes $100 billion on the american people, they're going to notice it. it doesn't pass the laugh test.
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>> now, people say he's just one guy. grover likes to say the pledge isn't to him, it is to politicians' constituents. the truth is, grover norquist is not just a guy. he's a guy who heads a lobby group with very powerful resources. one that uses millions of dollars in funding to get candidates elected and get others defeated. that is not democracy at work. that is lobbying money at work. and pledges like this don't make sense in a dynamic economy. we got to give our elected officials the tools and the leeway to do their jobs properly. and not hamstring them with promises that are made in a vacuum. promises that are made without context. so if members of congress, republicans and in particular, were able to free themselves from norquist's shackles, and take a real look at the merits versus the risks of raising taxes, they would see something interesting. while raising taxes is never ideal, the net effect to the economy of increasing the tax burden only on that portion of one's income that is higher than a quarter of a million dollars, by 4.6 percentage points, would
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have a negligible effect. that's because the proportion of what you need to spend on in life doesn't always go up in proportion to your income. let me put that another way. the more you earn, the less you need to spend on things that actually make the economy move. now, this is not an argument in favor of raising taxes on the rich. it is an argument against those who say the cost of doing so is greater than the cost of going over the fiscal cliff. i just assume no one's taxes went up and, yes, the government does need to cut waste and spend your hard earned tax dollars more efficiently. most americans think the tax system is rigged in favor of the rich. we need real tax reform in the united states. that's not going to happen by tuesday. neither is an agreement on how to cut spending. washington has known this day would come for a year and a half, but everybody was too busy campaigning and politicking to do the hard work of figuring out what to raise and what to cut. now we're down to the wire. we're backed into our corners, we're powered by ideology. it is the wrong thing to do at
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the wrong time. i've covered business for a long time and i've learned there are very few absolutes that stand the test of time. we in the cnn money newsroom will be on this fiscal cliff thing. we'll have special coverage saturday 1:00 p.m.
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he we said as soon as we know something, you'll be the first to know. jessica yellin getting information on the meet agent the white house now going on about the fiscal cliff. what do you have? >> so a source familiar with the meeting says that the -- inside that oval office the president is proposing something that democrats do not consider a new proposal, but really a restatement of what he laid out here on friday, which is a plan that would raise taxes on people who make $250,000 or more, but keep them where they are for everyone else. extend unemployment benefits for some 2 million americans, and then take on some other issues which sound to be more in the weeds. here is an interesting point. the source says if the others in the room do not have a counterproposal that can pass the house and the senate, then the president will ask them to allow for an up or down vote.
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so clearly it is a question of sort of shifting responsibility and saying, listen, guys, if you're not going to agree to my deal, what do you think can pass? what can we do to get this done? the headline here, democrats insisting there is no new proposal, it is the same $250,000 threshold, and if republicans can't agree to that, then what do they have and let's bring it to a vote. >> okay. jesse, keep your ear to the ground there. let us know when's going on. we appreciate it from the white house lawn. meeting happening now. let's hope they can do something. let's talk about former south african president nelson mandela. he's at home in johannesburg after more than two weeks in the hospital. cnn has an exclusive terview with the two granddaughters and she's here to tell us about it. tell us what the family members are saying about his condition now. >> i spoke to them this morning and i said to them, we heard so much over the last few weeks,
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let's hear from you. how is your grandfather really doing? here's what they had to say. >> he's sitting up, he was waving at the kids and smiling at the kids. he's very alert. and he's very aware what's going on. he's doing extremely well. he's doing very well. >> once in a while he needs, you know, medical care, medical attention, and, you know, we're very grateful because, you know, he is surrounded by the best medical team. he's very well taken care of and he's very comfortable and he's very happy. >> the first thing i thought, i mean, you know, good news, they're very upbeat about it. they're beautiful. >> beautiful women inside and out. and they called me because they wanted to tell the world, they're so tired of the rumors. >> social media. >> social media. every second day he's died or the latest rumor was he's gone home just to live out his last days, there is nothing more the hospital can do. i wanted to share from them, their frustration with the tr
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rumors. >> that is absolutely not true. our grandfather is well. and it can be very, very hurtful for us to hear these messages out there in the social media that recur grandfather is going to go home and going to go die. it is insensitive and we would like to appeal to the social media to just be sensitive, to our feelings, our grandfather's feelings as well. he is very alert and our grandfather is still wakes up in the morning, reading his paper. he's aware of what is being said around him, about him. and so we just would like to appeal to everybody out there to stop saying these rumors, they're not true. our grandfather is great. he's doing very well. >> there you go. >> let's hope on the 18th of july, in the year 2013, you and i are sitting here celebrating nelson mandela's 95th birthday. >> can you imagine? i think we will. >> let's hope. >> fingers crossed. thank you, nadia. really appreciate that.
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it is still -- it is still -- it will still be in the air, but a little closer to the ground. the shuttle "atlantis" soon to go on display in florida. we'll show you the plans next. productivity up, costs down, time to market reduced... those are good things. upstairs, they will see fantasy. not fantasy... logistics. ups came in, analyzed our supply chain, inventory systems... ups? ups. not fantasy? who would have thought? i did. we did, bob. we did. got it.
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okay. let's get you back now to the white house. and you see that is washington, obviously. and you see the new york stock exchange. we're keeping an eye on the stock exchange. it is down now. it is down now what is that,
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120 -- your monitor at home is bigger than the one in the studio. down 130 points. not sure if they're related, but we're keeping an eye on it. they're meeting at the white house. my colleague jessica yellin getting new information on the air moments ago saying a source who has information on this meeting now, in the white house, says the potus will lay out a plan for tax increases for $250,000 plus, people who make $250,000 plus and extend unemployment. not a new proposal, democrats are familiar with this proposal and say it is not new. if they don't have a counterproposal, people who he's meeting with, the ones who don't like this, the republicans i would imagine he's talking about, they can pass the house and the senate, the potus will ask to allow for an up or down vote. so that's the latest. they're hashing it out now. as soon as we get more information, we will let you know and also you can see the market is down, not sure if it is related, but the market will
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close in just about 15 minutes and we'll have that for you. okay, let's move on as we keep an eye on that as well. homing pigeons. they have been called indispensable, heroic for what they contributed to the allied effort in world war ii. one of those flying heroes never completed its mission. that's where one of the war's most intriguing mysteries begins. nic robertson has more now. >> reporter: the secret war time coded message that seems tantalizingly close to being cracked. >> this one message has more people interested in the pigeons during the war than anything we ever had before. >> reporter: found by david martin, right behind his fireplace, attached to the leg of a dead pigeon. >> all we have is the breastbone, the first piece that came down the chimney. then the pigeon's head. and then the last thing that came down is this one with the red capsule on.
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>> reporter: a world war ii homing pigeon, carrying a secret message, that didn't make it home. >> we made our own codes and clear they're still very good today. >> reporter: a mystery wrapped in an enigma, shrouded by time. >> scientists haven't quite worked it out, but they say go by the sun, the magnetic fields, even back to the loft. >> reporter: jeremy davis knows pigeons, raises them. >> they're athletes in the sky, with the wind behind them. they can get up to 90 miles an hour in some cases. and but they usually average about 50 miles an hour. >> reporter: not just fast, but far. in a day, flying six, seven, even 800 miles. but how the bird with the message went missing, anyone's guess.
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>> basically could have gone to rest on the chimney and got blown down the chimney, you know, just sort of got a bit tired and slipped. yeah. or someone shot it off. >> reporter: at the heart of britain's war time code breaking was this park. today, it is a museum. >> those sort of codes on a pigeon like that were probably from one of two sources, either an agent working behind enemy lines inside occupied europe. >> reporter: or from front line forces. even bomber crews carried pigeons. this museum curator tells this story about one avian hero, royal blue. >> he was on a bomber, went down in holland, and he flew from holland about four hours back to england, and they sent the plane out and picked the full crew up. >> there were a quarter of a million pigeons enlisted in the second world war, all of them played a part in the war and they saved many lives and some
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heroic acts. it is a story that should be told and it needs to be shouted. >> reporter: they didn't just carry messages, but film too. utterly indispensable, a vital part of the allied war machine. >> all the details for the first four days were brought back with the pigeons. >> reporter: almost all messages were coded. this message, 27 blocks of letters, may now be offering up some of its secrets. canadian researchers say it was sent by a soldier, dropped behind enemy lines. a sergeant using a world war i code book reporting on german tank movements. >> the latest information that has to be checked is we understand the message was sent and the person died in 1944. >> reporter: that led to the realization the mystery message could have played a role in the
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war's most decisive battle, the d-day landings. the more they learned, the more exciting the puzzle becomes. >> if it came from the d-day landings, which it looks like it did, yeah, a lot of lives were lost there, so, yeah, could have been a very important message. >> reporter: but here, thanks to war time codemakers, firm answers run out. britain's code cracking experts today caution the canadians may yet lack the right codes. >> very likely that that sort of message is sent using a one time pad or code book, so unless you can find the code book with the one time pad it almost virtually impossible to break. >> a message 70 years ago. it can't change anything. so that kind of aura of mystery, i think, it just is just a nice way to end the story. >> reporter: still, a mystery, but for how much still a mystert how much longer? >> all right, nic. the space shuttle "atlantis"
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won't be flying anymore but it's going to be the star attraction at a nearby museum. there it is, "atlantis" before it got to its home at the visitor's center in florida. all of this with no costs to taxpayers. the move was funded by a private company. you can check it out yourself next time you are in florida. the attraction will be opened to the public starting in july. from an initial lackluster debate performance to a 47% comment, the game changers of 2012 next. wlap mr. margin? don't be modest, bob. you found a better way to pack a bowling ball. that was ups. and who called ups? you did, bob. i just asked a question. it takes a long time to pack a bowling ball. the last guy pitched more ball packers. but you... you consulted ups.
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you found a better way. that's logistics. that's margin. find out what else ups knows. i'll do that. you're on a roll. that's funny. i wasn't being funny, bob. i know. welcome to chevy's year-end event. so, the 5.3-liter v8 silverado can tow up to 9,600 pounds? 315 horsepower. what's that in reindeer-power? [ laughs ] [ pencil scratches ] [ male announcer ] chevy's giving more. get the best offer of the year -- 0% apr financing for 60 months plus $1,000 holiday bonus cash. plus trade up for an additional $1,000 trade-in allowance. hurry. bonus cash ends january 2nd. [ female announcer ] almost nothing can dampen a baby's mood, when he wakes up dry in pampers. unlike other diapers,
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. all eyes on washington, d.c., specifically the white house. four top leaders, four top ranking members in congress meeting with the president right now. we've got some details from our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin who said moments ago that the president is meeting with timothy geithner. the president has asked to raise taxes on those making $250,000 or more. and if the other side does not have a counter proposal, then he will is ask for an up or down vote in the house and senate. there you go. as soon as they come out, they
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will step up to the microphones and you will get it right here on cnn. you will be the first to know. if you were putting together a list of the top 2012 moments, there were compelling moments inside and outside the campaign that made indelible marks. here are the top ten from our chief correspondent candy crowley. >> reporter: it's like finding your favorite grain of sand on the beach. there are moments when catch phrases become boomerangs. >> if you've got a business, you didn't build that. >> i like being able to fire people that provide services to me. >> reporter: when a woman took the spotlight. >> it's like an etch-a-sketch.
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>> reporter: ranging from inexplicable to unexplainable. >> i think it's call romnesia. >> if i were to coin a term, it would be obama-baloney. >> reporter: so much nonsense. there were game changers, be too. the moments that made history and made our top ten list. it was seen at the time as a proxy race for november. wisconsin's republican governor scott walker in a showdown over budgets cut and collective bargaining power. it turns out it was no bellwether for the presidential race. walker won. the first governor in u.s. history to survive a recall election. and another nod to a republican governor. >> i cannot thank the president enough for his personal concern and compassion for our state and for the people of our state. >> reporter: new jersey governor chris christie's full on embrace for president obama for helping
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sandy-ravaged area and some think that christie didn't have to be that ofusive. they will remember if his name pops up in 2016. >> if it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. >> reporter: from the say what category of entries comes a combo team. missouri senate for todd akin and richard mourdock from indiana. >> if it's a horrible situation in terms of rape, it's something that god intended to happen. >> reporter: akin and mourdock pretty much shut that door in a couple of sentences. two words from mitt romney reverb greated all the way through november. >> people who have come here illegally won't be able to find work and over time those people would tend to leave the country
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or self-deport. >> reporter: self-deportation by undocumented workers was not by itself responsible for romney's dismal showing by his sfpanics t it certainly greased the skids. and then there is this. >> there are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon him whork believe that they are victims. >> reporter: romney called his remarks completely wrong. they also caused the deepest self-inflicted wound of the election. on the flip side, romney's vp day may have been the best of his campaign. the selection of paul ryan he can cited conservatives in a way romney himself had not. how many moments are there in an hour and a half. the president lost all of them in the first debate.
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the pictures tell the story of a man who phoned it in, panicking his supporters and providing an opening for romney. and finally, the top three moments of the election best described as history-making politics. a supreme court decision upholding the constitutionality of obama care and if that doesn't strike you as political, can consider what would have happened on the campaign trail if the high court had struck down the president's signature first-term achievement. >> at a certain point i've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that i think same-sex couples should be able to get married. >> reporter: the first president to endorse same-sex marriage was a daily double moment. good politics aimed at an activist wing of his party's base and most certainly history. and finally, the number one political moment of the year is easy during elections. >> cnn projects that bar


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